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Title: Negotiating identities : sex, gender and nation in the fiction of women writers from Taiwan
Author: Rennie, Carol
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis examines the discourses on Chinese identity, particularly female identity, in the fiction of three women writers from Taiwan. It provides a comprehensive summary of the published fiction of Chen Ruoxi, Ouyang Zi and Li Li from 1962 to 2000, referring also to the work of other contemporary women writers and the Taiwan literary scene. It analyses the work in detail on the topics of sexuality, gender roles and national identity within the critical frameworks provided by feminist literary theory, postcolonial theory and diaspora studies. Chen Ruoxi was born in Taiwan to a Taiwanese family of humble origins; Ouyang Zi was born in Japan to an elite Taiwanese family; Li Li was born in mainland China and grew up in an army village in southern Taiwan. They all graduated from National Taiwan University in the 1960s, beginning their literary careers in the student-run journal Modern Literature (Xiandai wenxue). Like many other influential writers of their generation, they went on to study and settle in the United States, continuing to publish in Chinese for readers in Taiwan, Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China. Their backgrounds represent a spectrum of Taiwanese experience and their work, still read today, encompasses most the main literary trends in Taiwan in the later half of the twentieth century: Modernism (xiandai wenxue), Nativism (xiangtu wenxue), overseas literature (haiwai wenxue), and women’s literature (nüxing wenxue). A prominent theme in women’s literature is relationships between the sexes. My investigation of literary portrayals of sex and desire explores the production of meanings around female sexuality for Taiwan readers, according the literature its own roles as an influential cultural practice which structures and reproduces as well as contests cultural perceptions, values and norms. My analysis looks at depictions of adolescent desire, the construction and deconstruction of the Orientalised East and the sexualised West, and explores the discourses that create the Chinese woman as a desiring, or desirable, individual.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available